Paloma Winery in St. Helena, California has installed an 18 kilowatt solar electrical system.

Mounted on the roof of the barrelhouse, the solar system will provide 21,100 kWh per year for 50 years.

‘This decision was not difficult,’ said Sheldon Richards, son of winemakers Jim and Barbara Richards. ‘First of all, I knew that energy costs were going to escalate dramatically. Second, why waste all that free sunshine?’

The state of California offers financial incentives for businesses that install solar electric systems including a rebate of $2800 per kilowatt installation, and a 30% federal tax credit on the initial investment.

Paloma Winery is the latest Californian winery to go solar. Others include Shafer, Mount Eden Vineyards, Cooper-Garrod Vineyards, Rust Ridge, V. Sattui Winery and Kent Rasmussen Winery.

Written by Emmet Cole